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New Rules of Lifting for Women Stage 1 Recap

by Meghann on July 19, 2011

It’s over. I’ve survived. Stage 1 of New Rules of Lifting for Women is done. :)


Do I feel stronger? Possibly.

Can I lift more then when when I started? Hell Yeah!

Am I ready to kick some professional weight lifter butt? HA! No way!

BUt, now I’ve got guns! Sort of.


A Background Refresher

Going into The New Rules of Lifting for Women I knew very, very little about lifting or strength training. I pretty much soaked up all the book had to say and went for it. Stage 1 is only the beginning of the 6 month plan, but it’s also the largest. Stage 1 is meant to introduce newbies to free weights and allow them to steadily grow and build on their strength. This was great for me – as a newbie – because I really was starting from square one here.

I started the plan hoping to complete 3 strength training sessions a week, but eventually had to drop down to 2 when training for the August Half Ironman began to be too much. Dropping down wasn’t terrible and it allowed me to really appreciate and pay attention to each work out.

So, How did I do? Let’s have a look. :)


Stage 1
Workout A
Squats Workout 1 30 +bar
Workout 8 90 +bar
Seated Row Workout 1 40 lbs
Workout 8 70 lbs
Step-Up Workout 1 12 lbs
Workout 8 25 lbs
Workout B
Deadlift Workout 1 40 lbs
Workout 8 80 lbs
Dumbbell Shoulder Press Workout 1 12 lbs
Workout 8 20 lbs
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down Workout 1 50 lbs
Workout 8 70 lbs
Lunge Workout 1 15 lbs
Workout 8 25 lbs

*Note I only included the stats for the workouts that required an increase in weight.

As you can tell, over the course of a little more than a month my strength improved greatly. I went up across the board and more than doubled a few of them. However, this may just be because I started out too light. The biggest challenge in the beginning was figuring out what was the right weight I should be lifting. It was hard trying to figure it out for myself and not just having someone tell me what to lift.

My one complaint towards the end was the few spots where I did get stuck on increasing weight. I was lifting 20 lbs on the Dumbbell Shoulder Press with no problem at 10 reps, but when the reps dropped to 8 – and I was suppose to increase the weight – I could barely do 1 or 2 reps with the 25 lbs. I wasn’t sure what to do in that situation. Keep doing the 20lbs at 10 reps or the now recommended 8 reps? I ended up doing the 8 reps, but felt like I was stepping backwards.

I aslo felt stage 1 to be a little long to be doing to same moves. This is the longest stage of the plan and I’m happy it’s behind me.


5/26/11 7/15/11
Chest 34in 34in
Right Bicep 11in 11.15in
Left Bicep 10.75in 11in
Waist 31in 30.25in
Hips 39in 38.65in
Right Thigh 21.5in 21.30in
Left Thigh 21in 21in

Not bad. Up where I want to be and down where I want to be.


Screen shot 2011-07-19 at 11.32.06 AM.png

End of Stage 1 Photos: 7/15/11

IMG_9630.jpg IMG_9629.jpg IMG_9628.jpg

Ha! I think I need better photos. I tried the natural light this time, but they still look funky. Taking progress is not my forte (especially when I’m begging Derek to do on his way out the door for work.) I’ll try better for next round. :)

Bring on Stage 2!

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